Steamboat’s historic Arnold Barn set to move on down the road |

Steamboat’s historic Arnold Barn set to move on down the road

An excavator sits in front of the historic Arnold Barn Thursday afternoon. Construction crews have been working to stabilize and lift the Arnold Barn at its current location next to Steamboat Resort’s Meadows Parking lot. The barn is set to be moved Oct. 8 to its new location at Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The historic Arnold Barn will soon be on the move.

Preservationists have lifted the barn off its foundation onto the steel beams that make up the frame of what will become the trailer that hauls the barn, said Steamboat Redevelopment Authority project manager Ralph Walton.

Framework supporting the barn inside and out is also in place. Soon, dollies will be attached to the beams to make the trailer mobile.

“The barn’s been raised off its 70-year-old foundation,” Walton said. “It has moved already— straight and up— and those slip joints and framing techniques have allowed that to happen safely.”

The barn is scheduled to make its lateral move on Monday, Oct. 8. The move itself will take several hours and could continue into the following day. Weather could also change preservationists’ plans.

The barn will then be driven over a temporary bridge over the small wetland in its current location at the northwest corner of the Meadows Parking lot at Steamboat Resort.

A truck will carry it through the parking lot and up Mount Werner Road to its new home, about 1,000 feet away on a knoll above the intersection of Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle. A new foundation for the barn is already in place.

Bill Bailey, the contractor moving the barn, has moved other historic buildings in Routt County.

Arnold family dairy herd in the 1930s. (Photo courtesy of Tread of Pioneers Museum)

“After surviving years of neglect and an uncertain future, it is exciting to finally see the work underway to move the historic Arnold Barn to its new home and to preserve it for future generations to appreciate,” Arianthé Stettner, a member of Save Arnold Barn said in a news release.

“We are thrilled that this grassroots/community effort has captured the imagination of the public throughout the country,” Stettner added. “It is yet another example of the ‘can-do’ spirit that make Steamboat Springs and Routt County such a great place to live.”

The process of moving the barn will require closures of one lane of Mount Werner Road and the northern portion of its intersection with Mount Werner Circle.

Those organizing the move anticipate a crowd will likely gather to watch the move, but any formal celebrations of the barn will likely happen after construction is complete. Once it’s on its new foundation, additional work to preserve the barn will be completed.

“It’s an active construction site, so we can’t really make too big of a deal of it,” Walton said. “Once we get it there, the work is going to continue. It’s not going to stop for autographs or anything.”

The barn’s new location is intended to serve as a landmark for people traveling in the mountain area while honoring the area’s agricultural heritage.

The barn served as a dairy barn for the Arnold family for about 30 years.

Over time, Steamboat Springs and the ski area grew up around the old dairy farm. Roads and parking lots cut through the area. The landscape and drainages changed. The barn fell into disrepair, soaking in a wetland that wasn’t there before, cut by Mount Werner Road and Broomtail Lane.

The Save Arnold Barn group organized community members advocating for the preservation of the barn.

The project is funded by the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority and community donations. A number of partners, including Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee, Save Arnold Barn, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Steamboat Grand Homeowners Association, Historic Routt County, the Tread of Pioneers Museum, Fox Construction, Bailey House Movers, Duckels Construction, Mountain Architecture & Design Group, Baseline Engineering, Steamboat Engineering and Architectural Design and many others contributed to the project.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.

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